55g bioload - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-24-2013, 08:02 AM Thread Starter
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55g bioload

Hi all,

Iwant to know what you guys think abour my bioload and if you think it can handle more fishies...
Hers is my setup;

Planted with fast growing stems... Anacharis, Ludwigia repens, Elodea and a couple of others that i havent find thet species yet...
55g 48"*13"*21"
Fluval303 filter
Fishes. 3penguin tetra, 9neon tetra, 5platy and 7fry, 5golden barbs and a chinese algea eater.

The CAE is very freindly with the other occupants and actualy dont mind to share his food pellets with the other fish. I often see barbs and neon sharing the meal with the cae all eating on the same pellet at the same time.... I dont think he will be a problem. He is now almost 5inlong and he behave very well.

My water so far is always 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, but idont have the nitrate test kit and since my tank is planted and i do 20-25%wc with substrat cleaning every week, i dont see nitrate being an issue...

What do you guys think of all that and what fish would do well in there?
Any comments suggestion wellcome!
Thnks all.
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-24-2013, 08:20 AM
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I think that you are probably 2/3's full. Filling out some of the existing groups would be better than adding another variety of fish, but that's just me. I like to see larger shoals of fish that are more comfortable and perhaps active as a result. In a larger tank it also makes them more visible and you have less need to fill it with something else. Bringing both groups of tetras up to 10 or 12 each would be good. Same thing with the barbs. If you consider how these fish interact in the wild, they would never have 4 or 5 different species together in a 55 gallon column of water continuously. That would be like putting a few families together in one house and locking them in with a grocery delivery service....sometimes that might work but I know I might end up hurting someone.

Hmmmm.... Sounds like a great idea for a TV show.

I won't comment on the CAE or the platy, not much to do with them.

On the nitrate, you really should test both your source water and the tank so you know that you don't have any problems with nitrates. Long term levels over 20ppm have been shown to cause problems with fish (I didn't read any study directly but Byron quotes this often) and we are seeing forum members with source nitrate issues. Otherwise, with zero source and plants, you shouldn't have any trouble with you WC schedule.

Can you get some pictures up in your aquarium log? Everyone loves to see pictures.

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Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-25-2013, 04:24 PM
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I fully concur with increasing the "shoaling" fish species already present. You can read more about this in the respective profiles, click the shaded names Golden Barb, Penguin Tetra. Neon Tetra at 9 is better, though a few more wouldn't hurt.

I assume the platy are male/female, since there are fry. These will have to be controlled or they can easily overwhelm the tank's biological equilibrium as they increase. Culling the fry somehow will be necessary. The profile explains the fast reproduction of this fish.

I agree on getting a nitrate test kit. API make a reliable one. Nitrate and pH are the only tests I bother with after so many years, and having heavily-planted tanks. And knowing the source water (tap) on its own with respect to ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, as well as pH and GH, is essential.

I would keep a close eye on the Chinese Algae Eater. Assuming this is the correct species, this fish can turn nasty literally overnight. It is also a heavy waste machine, which has to be compensated for. And I would up your weekly water change to 1/3 or 1/2 of the tank volume, every week. This article explains why:


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #4 of 6 Old 03-25-2013, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replys...

I will follow your wisdom and higher up my current shoaling numbers.... Happier fish and better looking tank...
Also will run to my lfs and get my hand on a nitrate kit.

As far as the CAE goes, he really is one... I will take according measure if aggression rises. I did read the whole article on this species and know what to expect... If it happens *knock on wood*
He sure is a cool fish and swims like a shark.. I love it!

Thanks guys.
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-26-2013, 07:49 AM
Welcome to TFK!

I'm a 'day late and a dollar short', so I'll just agree with what's been suggested, with one caveat. First, since I discovered very high nitrates in my well water, testing for nitrates is very important. You can keep tank nitrates low(er) with good tank maintenance, living plants (even floating [I have a mass of Anacharis]) and by ensuring you don't over feed (I think most of us tend to over feed our fish some because they're 'programmed' to eat whenever food is available and we confuse this with hunger).

Now I have discovered that with good tank maint. and plants, a 10%-20% weekly water change (WWC) is fine. But if your source water is good, 50% is even better because there can never be too much fresh water. Just be sure and do your WWC every week as often folks get into the hobby and either don't do WWC's or slack off over time and neglect this important maintenance. But it's like having a cat and not cleaning the litter box... in time, you'll be sorry!!!


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post #6 of 6 Old 03-26-2013, 10:32 AM
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The fish will start pooping on the floor? That's what the cats do...

I'm just echoing what everyone else said. I love the look of a large shoal of smaller fish in a big tank. It'll be a joy to watch them once you increase your numbers!
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